Volvo calls for standardised EV charging infrastructure

The all-new Volvo XC90Volvo Cars is calling for the global automotive industry to work towards the introduction of a standardised charging infrastructure for electric cars.

Volvo Cars has decided to throw its weight behind the Charging Interface Initiative, a consortium of stakeholders in one of today’s competing charging standards for battery-powered vehicles, the Combined Charging System (CCS).

In order to cement the increasing popularity of electric vehicles and ensure that customers fully embrace the technology, Dr Peter Mertens, the company’s Senior Vice President for Research & Development, argues that a simple, standardised, fast and global charging infrastructure is needed.

“We see that a shift towards fully electric cars is already underway, as battery technology improves, costs fall and charging infrastructure is put in place,” said Dr Mertens. “But while we are ready from a technology perspective, the charging infrastructure is not quite there yet. To really make range anxiety a thing of the past, a globally standardised charging system is sorely needed.”

The Combined Charging System combines single-phase with rapid three-phase charging, using alternating current at a maximum of 43 kilowatts (kW), as well as direct-current charging at a maximum of 200 kW and the future possibility of up to 350 kW in a single system.

“We are very happy to support and be involved in the setting of standards for electric vehicle charging systems. The lack of such a standard is one of the main obstacles for growing electric vehicles’ share of the market,” said Dr Mertens.

Volvo Cars plans to offer a plug-in hybrid variant of every new model as it replaces its entire product portfolio in the coming years. It will also introduce a fully electric vehicle by 2019, based on its modular SPA vehicle architecture.

“Our Twin Engine technology offers the low emissions, silence, convenience and performance of a pure electric car, combined with the range of a conventional powertrain. It offers the benefits of electrification already today,” added Dr Mertens.

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